Well-being and happiness in cultural context

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MAYER, Karl-Ulrich, ed.. Gutes Leben oder gute Gesellschaft?. Stuttgart: Wissenschaftliche Verlagsgesellschaft, 2018, pp. 159-177. Nova Acta Leopoldina. NF, 417
Zusammenfassung

A “good life” includes well-being and happiness. This contribution suggests that socioeconomic, political, and psychological factors alone can only partly explain differences in well-being and happiness among diverse countries since culture matters. An overview on definitions and subjective and objective indicators shows that most studies on well-being and happiness have used conceptualizations and measurements assuming universal applicability. However, inconsistent associations of well-being and happiness with objective indicators (prosperity, education, social status, health) suggest a closer look on the contextual conditions of these associations, and on the culture-specific meaning of the theoretical concepts. Therefore, studies including cultural, societal and psychological factors are discussed, asking whether and how well-being and happiness differ across cultures. Cross-cultural and intra-cultural studies on socio-economic and psychological preconditions, correlates and consequences of well-being, life-satisfaction, and happiness reveal an impact of cultural values of independence and interdependence. These values shaping the selfconstrual, behavior, and interpersonal relations, influence wellbeing. Studies on non-Western populations show a culture-specific meaning of well-being and happiness, based on interdependent values and respective person-environment relationships, suggesting a conceptualization of “relational” happiness. These results underline that the cultural context and the subjective experience of individuals should be taken into account in future studies on well-being and happiness, asking whether a personculture fit between values on the individual and on the national, group, or cultural level predicts well-being and happiness. A culture-informed psychological approach allows for an improved understanding of preconditions and consequences of well-being and happiness. Integrating contributions from different disciplines may further advance attempts in building a theoretical framework on aspects of a “good life” and a “good society”.

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150 Psychologie
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ISO 690TROMMSDORFF, Gisela, 2018. Well-being and happiness in cultural context. In: MAYER, Karl-Ulrich, ed.. Gutes Leben oder gute Gesellschaft?. Stuttgart: Wissenschaftliche Verlagsgesellschaft, 2018, pp. 159-177. Nova Acta Leopoldina. NF, 417
BibTex
@incollection{Trommsdorff2018Wellb-41655.2,
  year={2018},
  title={Well-being and happiness in cultural context},
  number={NF, 417},
  publisher={Wissenschaftliche Verlagsgesellschaft},
  address={Stuttgart},
  series={Nova Acta Leopoldina},
  booktitle={Gutes Leben oder gute Gesellschaft?},
  pages={159--177},
  editor={Mayer, Karl-Ulrich},
  author={Trommsdorff, Gisela}
}
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